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REPORT: Crouz sees red as Gladiators slip to another defeat

Updated: Oct 10, 2019


An 88th minute tap-in from Chris Dawson culminated in Matlock Town’s third defeat in a row on Tuesday night as Matlock Town suffered a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to struggling Scarborough Athletic.


Paul Walker’s close-range strike in the 18th minute gave the Seadogs the lead before Luke

Hinsley equalised with a powerful header in the 60th minute.


However, the big talking point was Piteu Crouz’s controversial red card in the 78th minute which left the Gladiators vulnerable defending counter-attacks and so it agonisingly proved right at the death when they paid the price for being a man down.


It was a low-key first half with very few chances and Matlock Town will have been disappointed with their laboured performance in the opening 45 minutes.


Jack Rea’s superb half-volleyed effort that just flew over the bar from 20 yards out was Matlock’s first real effort at goal but that encouragement was short-lived when Paul Walker scored with the easiest of chances as he stroked home completely unmarked from six yards out.


The rest of the first half resumed as a scrappy, drab affair and neither team shone. The only notable elements of the rest of the half were Bailey Gooda’s reassuring presence in defence and the injury that lead to Jack Rea’s early withdrawal. In his post-match interview, Steve Kittrick confirmed that Rea was suffering from a groin strain and was replaced by Spencer Harris in the 37th minute.


As the second half progressed, the match became a much more stretched and open affair. Scarborough almost doubled their lead in the 54th minute when a cross-shot from the left wing slipped through Jon Stewart’s fingers. Fortunately for the Gladiators, Ben Gordon was just near enough to clear the ball off the line.


Matlock finally made a proper impact on the game when Luke Hinsley met an excellent delivery from Piteu Crouz’s free-kick from the left wing to fire home a powerful header in the 60th minute past Seadogs keeper Thomas Taylor to make it 1-1.


The equaliser appeared to spark Matlock Town into life and the Gladiators were definitely the better team in the final half hour of the match. In the 67th minute, Dwayne Wiley came agonisingly close to giving Matlock the lead when his header from a corner flashed just wide of the post. In the 76th minute, on-loan striker Sam Scrivens shot from 20 yards out forcing a smart save from Taylor where the ball was tipped around the post.


The big talking point from the match ensued from the following corner. Luke Hinsley came extremely close to giving the Gladiators the lead when he found space inside the penalty area and shot from ten yards out. The ball was superbly blocked when it was on its way into the net. Following the block, Piteu Crouz ran in for a fifty-fifty challenge just outside the penalty area and was adjudged to have fouled his opponent. A foul, it certainly was, but the Matlock fan base expected nothing more serious than a yellow card at worst. To the shock of Crouz, the team and the fans, the referee showed the Cameroonian winger a red card. It was impossible to deny that this moment had a huge impact on the rest of the match.


In the final ten minutes, Matlock searched valiantly for a late winner despite being a man down. Matlock dominated possession but were always vulnerable to a quick counter-attack to undo them right at the end, and that was exactly what happened in the 88th minute.


Following sustained Matlock pressure, Scarborough suddenly found space on the left wing to run through stretching Matlock’s tired resources. In a carbon copy of the style of their first goal, Chris Dawson found himself completely unmarked from six yards out to easily stroke home the winner following a nice, threaded pass on the ground from the left wing that left the oncoming Jon Stewart stranded.


The defeat felt harsh, particularly after the debatable sending-off, but Matlock will know they will need to start the next game a lot better this coming Saturday in their derby match at home to Mickleover Sports.


Matlock Town: Stewart (c), Lacey, Gordon, Rea (Harris 37), Gooda, Wiley, Marshall, Dean, Hinsley, Scrivens, Crouz.


Unused Substitutes: Yates, Williamson, Sinnott, Smith.


Attendance: 419

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